Hours after dissolving a controversial commission charged with investigating unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, President Donald Trump has called for the enactment of voter identification laws.
Trump said in a post on Twitter early Thursday morning that many mostly Democratic states had refused to hand over voter information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
“They fought hard that the Commission not see their records or methods because they know that many people are voting illegally,” Trump tweeted. “System is rigged, must go to Voter I.D.”
He added, “As Americans, you need identification, sometimes in a very strong and accurate form, for almost everything you do…..except when it comes to the most important thing, VOTING for the people that run your country. Push hard for Voter Identification!”
Republicans largely support laws requiring voters to present identification in order to cast their ballots, although Democrats claims the laws disenfranchise minority voters.
The tweets from Trump come after he signed an executive order on Wednesday terminating the election integrity commission.
“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
She added, “Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and he has asked the Department of Homeland Security to review its initial findings and determine next courses of action.”
Trump established the commission last May amid his claim that as many as 5 million people voted illegally, helping Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton win the popular vote.
Democrats and voter rights groups were critical of the commission, arguing that there is no evidence to back up Trump’s claim.
A number of states resisted the commission’s request for detailed voter data, including names, addresses, birthdates, partial Social Security numbers, and party affiliation.
The commission’s request triggered a series of lawsuits amid concerns about privacy and how the information would be used.
Democrats cheered the disbandment of the commission, which Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., claimed never had anything to do with election integrity.
“It was instead a front to suppress the vote, perpetrate dangerous and baseless claims, and was ridiculed from one end of the country to the other,” Schumer said.
He added, “This shows that ill-founded proposals that just appeal to a narrow group of people won’t work, and we hope they’ll learn this lesson elsewhere.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., claimed the commission’s entire purpose was to encourage and enable voter suppression.
“The integrity of our elections has been undermined because of the disenfranchisement of American citizens, not the bigoted delusions of widespread voter fraud,” Pelosi said.
(Photo: Michael Vadon)